The Birimian Greenstone Belts of West Africa
July 2013 by Chris RalphThe country we were to visit was Burkina Faso, a small country about the same size of my home state of Nevada with about 10 times more people. The second day I was in Africa, we went out to the goldfields for the first time.
In 1877, a prospector named Ed Schieffelin discovered silver in “the middle of nowhere” and staked two claims: “Tumbstone” and “Graveyard.” Soon a town and mining district were organized and acquired the name “Tombstone” after making a spelling correction.
The more experienced prospectors know these lesser known spots are the types of places where big finds are still made.
The other opportunity that I see is in seeking unusual types of deposits. Specifically, the prospector would be searching for the stuff no one (or almost no one) is searching for. These deposits are effectively hiding in plain view.
…we focused on various layers of hard-packed flood material out of the creek, and we also obtained some material up quite a ways from the creek itself on bedrock.
While the bullion value of the nugget is already substantial, the size and rarity of the Ausrox Nugget combine to make its worth invaluable in the collector market.
…if you are game for digging in and learning more about the intricate details of how gold deposits form, then let’s jump right in.
The majority of the gold produced in Goldfield has come from ores that are close enough to the surface to be oxidized by the air. This oxidized ore is normally a soft, shattered, earthy material usually stained yellow to brown by oxides of iron.
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